Friday, July 6, 2012

Chairman PTA in trouble, PAC asks to put his name in ECL

Chairman PTA in trouble, PAC asks to put his name in ECL
Chairman PTA, Dr. Mohammad Yaseen
Earlier Chairman PTA Dr. Muhammad Yaseen was going on a two weeks forced leave prior to the expiry of his four year term by the end of July. It appears that things are getting worst for the Chairman and few high ranking officials of the authority.
We have just heard that today Public Account Committee of National (PAC) Assembly was provided with the details of severe corruption cases in which existing Chairman PTA Dr. Yaseen seems to be a part of them. We have yet to confirm the details of PAC proceedings.
As per media reports, PAC has  recommended to put Chairman’s name in the Exit Control List (ECL) along with the names of other key officials of the PTA.
According to sources, PAC in its meeting today raised question about the credibility of Chairman PTA who has already been questioned by PAC in the past over mismanagement with reference to telecom industry in Pakistan.
Sources at PTA acknowledged that although PAC has taken the issue seriously but we have yet to receive a written document from them in this regard, until then, it is not a decision.
Four year term of Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Dr. Muhammad Yaseen that started in 2008 is supposed to expire by the end of July 2012.
Yesterday we heard that Dr. Yaseen was going on a two weeks forced leave because of certain issues.
In his absence, a caretaker may take charge until a new Chairman is appointed by the Government.
According to reports, there are number of government officials dreaming for this post who are said to be backed by various political entities.
Chairman PEMRA, Dr. Abdul Jabbar who has once served at PTA being a Director General is a serious contender for the position. According to his supporter, he is the blue-eyed official of the existing government. As far as his achievements are concerned during last couple of years, he has remained unsuccessful in controlling the blunt media of Pakistan.
Other names who are maneuvering for the post are Dr. Ismail Shah and Kamran Ali who belong to Ministry of IT and Telecom.
The appointment of Chairman has been defined in the Telecom Act. According to Pakistan Telecommunication Act 1996 amended in 2006 “The Authority shall consist of three members one of whom shall be a professional telecommunication engineer and other shall be a financial expert, to be appointed by the Federal Government for a term of four years and shall be eligible for appointment for a similar term or terms”.
Sub-Section 3 of Section 3 says, “The Federal Government Shall, from amongst the members of the authority (PTA) appointed under sub-section (2), appoint a member to be the Chairman of the Authority”
It is therefore,  mandatory that Federal Government appoints the Chairman from existing members of the authority, unless it amends the act for which there is a provision in the act.
Sources reveal that it is likelihood that Government will select the next Chairman from the existing body. In this case, it makes Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar – Member Technical – PTA the most senior and serious candidate for the post. Dr. Khawar is a PhD in Mobile Communication from UK who joined PTA in March 2009.
Appointment of Chairman has become a matter of great attention as government is taking too much interest in licensing of 3G mobile technology in Pakistan. Dr. Yaseen has already faced massive criticism from government for not being able to create a favorable environment for 3G licensing. Whoever gets appointed in next few days, will have 3G as foremost thing to do in his to-do list.


 PAC has also directed Chairman to submit a report as to why 3G licensing got delayed in Pakistan.

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